Dudley Ward (judge)

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For the Victoria Cross recipient, see Charles Ward (VC).
Judge Ward

Charles Dudley Robert Ward (9 July 1827 – 30 August 1913), known as Dudley Ward, was a New Zealand judge and a Member of Parliament.

Family and education[edit]

Ward was born at sea on board HMS Primrose in the Atlantic Ocean on 9 July 1827. He was the eldest son of diplomat, politician, and later governor of Ceylon, Sir Sir Henry George Ward GCMG and Emily Swinburne, and a cousin of William Ward and William George Ward. He was educated at Rugby School and at Wadham College, Oxford (though not being awarded a degree) and completed his legal education at the Inner Temple being called to the Bar in 1853. His grandfathers were Robert Plumer Ward and Sir John Swinburne, 6th Baronet.

A career in New Zealand[edit]

Parliament of New Zealand
Years Term Electorate Party
1855–1858 2nd Wellington Country Independent

Ward was married on 26 January 1850, at Rotherhithe, to Anne Titboald, who was born in Exeter. Together, after his admission to the bar, they set out for New Zealand, arriving 29 September 1854 in Wellington on the Cordelia. The following year, he successfully stood for election to the lower house of the 2nd New Zealand Parliament representing the Wellington Country electorate from 15 November 1855.[1] Ward resigned on 22 March 1858 before the end of the term. He did not serve in any subsequent Parliaments.[2]


On 1 June 1857, 18 months after his election to Parliament, Ward was appointed chairman of the Courts of Sessions of the Peace for the Province of Wellington and presiding judge of the Magistrate's Courts for Hawke's Bay, Wairarapa and Wanganui. On 1 January 1864, he was given a two-year appointment as Resident Magistrate at Wellington, the capital. The remainder of his career was appointments as District Judge for a series of individual provinces until, after more than 49 years service, his retirement in March 1906, aged almost 79, on a pension of £800 per annum.

Supreme Court[edit]

Ward was appointed Acting Supreme Court Judge on four occasions: September 1867 Dunedin; September 1886 Auckland; September 1887 Christchurch; March 1894 Dunedin again.

He had been involved in the parliamentary Ward-Chapman enquiry of 1874–75 after he laid certain charges of gross partiality against Justice Chapman of the Supreme Court. Chapman retired in 1875.

Ward declined a permanent appointment on the Supreme Court bench in June 1896, the offer being received just after the death of his wife, and declined an Acting Supreme Court judgeship in the following year.[3]

Death and family[edit]

Dudley Ward died in Christchurch on 30 August 1913 aged 86. Anne and Dudley Ward had no known children.[1]


  1. ^ a b Hutching, Megan (2007). "Ward, Anne 1825/1826? - 1896". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. 
  2. ^ Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. OCLC 154283103. 
  3. ^ "Obituary". New Zealand Press Association. 1 September 1913. 
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
William Barnard Rhodes
Member of Parliament for Wellington Country
Succeeded by
Alfred Brandon